I can’t sleep so I guess I’ll write. I didn’t take my sleeping pill last night (a few hours ago) and this is what happens when I don’t; I stay up until 2:15am pondering life.
Today is different, though. Today, August 24th 2017 marks 28 years since my father was murdered. I always try to approach this day with no emotion. I’ll be ok this year. It’s been a long ass time, I don’t need to fuss or cry about it, right? Ugh. I’m never able to hold true to what I wish for on this day.
Last night my sister messaged me asking for a particular set of photos of my parents. It got me looking through the box I have of pictures, of my father mostly. They’re photos of him and his family, whom I’ve never met, back in Pakistan. I didn’t think I had what she was looking for so I started sending her pictures of the photos I did have. As I started to look through them I realized I would never know the stories behind them. He was never going to point at a pictures and tell me what he was doing and why. Why was he laughing here? Missed moments…. missed stories and missed memories that I…. WE didn’t get to have. What could have been and should have been.
As I sent the photos to my sister I was filled with a lot of emotion. My father was human and like all humans we have faults. Some bigger than others and he was by no means perfect. I’ve struggled recently in the past year to forgive him for some of his faults only to recognize the faults I have myself. This shit is hard.
Most recently I was contacted by my dads brother. My uncle. A man I’ve never met or talked to up until that point. He called me and I missed the call. My heart shook. What was I going to say when he called back? This man, my own blood, is a perfect stranger to me. I know mostly nothing about him except that I have a few pictures of him from when he was young and his name. He called me again. I answered. Immediately when I heard his voice my heart wanted to cry. We talked a bit. His English is a bit broken but he said he learned a lot when he was living in London for a while. He said my grandmother is still alive. That’s she’s about 85-90. Keep in mind they live in Pakistan and they’re not wealthy. There aren’t many kept records from when she was born or even when my father was born. Anyway, as I was talking to him I asked him if he ever visits my dads grave….. he said yes, all the time and I began to cry. One thing that I wish SO much is that I had a grave to visit on days like today or days when I just need to go and sit and just scream. I’ve never been to his grave. I don’t know what it looks like. I’ve never laid a flower down in mourning. He said he visits and says prayers for my dad often. While I’m talking to him I feel as if this isn’t even real. I’m talking about a man I call my dad but I don’t know much about him. I didn’t get that chance and this thought stings a bit…. I didn’t KNOW my dad. I was seven when he was killed so my memory of him is not very fresh. As I hung up with my Uncle, I promised to call him again sometime and I will.
If there’s one thing you should know is my dad came to the US looking to make money to send back to his poor family in Pakistan. That was his goal. I can’t imagine being 16, moving to another country without your family but with the most hope in your heart that things were going to work out for the best. My dad always worked hard. He was smart. He went to machinist school and became a machinist and helped build planes for McDonnell Douglas. That was the job he had when he died. He always dreamed of owning his own business. A sort of “American dream” if you will.
My dad fell in love with my mother at work. This was before he became a machinist. My mom was 19 when they met. Two kids in love. Two kids that would go on to have 4 children. I think he’d be proud of us if he could see us now. 😔
As you get older you realize the magnitude of things that have happened in your life. The trauma. The emotion. The pain. It’s all still there just hiding under the surface. I never realized the magnitude of his death on my soul. The eternal pain I feel when I think about him. His memory. The missed moments. The should have beens…..
I hope you’re proud of us, daddy.